Sattar Ali and his entire family were arrested while he tried to deposit a check at the Emprise Bank in Wichita, Kansas.
The Iraqi-American family recently sold their house in Dearborn, Michigan, and Sattar was trying to deposit a check for about $151,000 when he was arrested along with his wife Hadil and their 15-year-old daughter Hawra.
Sattar told KAKE:
I went to the bank to deposit the check and I took all of the documents with me to verify. And I told them I don’t need it until I find a house. So keep the check with you, verify, take your time. Simply we were just going there to deposit a check. We were not asking for money.
The Ali family moved back to Wichita so that Ali could complete his doctoral degree at Wichita State University.
Police took the Ali family to police headquarters for nearly three hours of questioning.
Police called the school where Ali’s 11-year-old son attends, and told the school to hold the boy because the Ali family was in custody.
Ali added: “They didn’t say why or what happened or what did we do. I’m trying to figure out what did we do.”
The Wichita police claimed they were called to the bank over an attempted forgery, which turned out not to be true:
Officers on scene made attempts to verify the legitimacy of the check, and were unable to do so. Wichita Police Detectives were utilized as part of the investigation due to their expertise and access to additional resources. The Detectives, using the additional resources, were able to verify the legitimacy of the check.
The Emprise Bank issued a statement:
We are aware of a situation at the 21st and Woodlawn branch yesterday and can confirm that our team acted in accordance with our policies and procedures. If faced with the same circumstances today, we would expect our team to take the same actions.